PRESIDENTS Annual Report
2016-17 has been an active year for the Lower
Altamaha Historical Society with a slate of highly-interesting lecture programs
and field trips to sites of historical and ecological interest.
In the past year, the LAHS has undertaken several projects that benefit
both the organization and the community. One of these was the initiative by a
group of LAHS members in February to conduct a cleaning of the Bessie M. Lewis
plot at the Hopkins Cemetery in Crescent. Bessie Lewis was the McIntosh County
historian for over 50 years. Her plot was in disarray largely because of years
of inattention, plus Hurricane Matthew also left its mark.
Several members of the Society have undertaken volunteer roles to assist
Fort King George in beautification efforts on the Museum premises while others
have made contributions toward enhancing the appearance of the grounds around
the LAHS archives. Our archives area now looks better than it has in many years.
New lights were installed at the entrance to the Museum to provide improved
illumination on the walkway and parking lot.
LAHS sponsored or co-sponsored two book signings for LAHS president Buddy
Sullivan. The first, in February, was for the release of Buddy’s new book, A
Low Country Diary: Bessie Mary Lewis and McIntosh County, Georgia. Then in
March, in tandem with the Ashantilly Center, Buddy’s new book, Sapelo: People
and Place on a Georgia Sea Island, was unveiled locally with a signing event
at Ashantilly, with the book’s photographer Ben Galland showing a selection of
his color images.
Last spring, a number of members participated in an excellent field trip to
the Cannon’s Point Preserve at St. Simons. The history, culture and ecology of
the site were interpreted and an update given on the outstanding work the St.
Simons Land Trust is doing to enhance the educational opportunities afforded by
Programmatically, we have had our usual outstanding group of monthly
speakers in the past year. A review of the speakers follows:
August 2016—Bill Giles, site superintendent at Hofwyl-Broadfield, gave a
slide program displaying archival photographs from the early 20th
century history of Hofwyl.
September—Jesse Wuest, interpretive ranger at the Wormsloe historic site,
discussed pirates of the Atlantic coast.
October—Rebecca Fenwick, Historic Preservation Specialist for a Savannah
architectural firm, provided an update of the historic resource study and survey
she is coordinating for McIntosh County under the auspices of the county
historic preservation commission.
November—Sandy Jensen, education coordinator of the Coastal Georgia
Historical Society gave an interesting talk about plans to rehabilitate the
former Coast Guard Station at East Beach and convert it into a museum featuring
World War II on the home-front.
January 2017—Ashby Worley provided an interesting talk featuring her
previous role as the Riverkeeper for the Satilla River in Camden County and
ongoing conservation efforts on that unique waterway.
February—Author Janisse Ray discussed her efforts to expand and reorganize
the Tattnall County Archives, as well as her own research into the families and
culture of southeast Georgia.
March—LAHS member Jim Klippel provided a look at Auldbrass Plantation in
South Carolina, featuring the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. This insight
into an important site and its linkage with one of America’s best-known
architects was most interesting! A number of our members will tour Auldbrass
later this this year during its bi-annual open house.
April—Christy Sherman of the Richmond hill Visitors and Convention Bureau
gave a talk on that town’s efforts to promote its tourism and history as well as
Richmond Hill’s unique connection with Henry and Clara Ford.
May—Dominic Guadagnoli, shellfish program manager for DNR discussed efforts
to restore and nurture the Georgia coast’s oyster habitat.
June—Buddy Sullivan lectured on the history of north McIntosh County, with
a slide program featuring Harris Neck, Sutherland’s Bluff, Shellman Bluff and
Belvedere, among other sites.